Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Questions (145)

Robert Troy

Question:

145. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a NEPS assessment will be expedited for a person (details supplied). [52062/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I can inform the Deputy that my Department's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychology service to all primary and post primary schools through an assigned NEPS psychologist and in some cases through the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA), full details of which are on the Department's website. Under this scheme schools can have an assessment carried out by a member of the panel of private psychologists approved by NEPS, and NEPS will pay the psychologist the fees for this assessment directly.

In common with many other psychological services and best international practice, NEPS has adopted a consultative model of service. The focus is on empowering teachers to intervene effectively with pupils whose needs range from mild to severe and transient to enduring. Psychologists use a problem solving and solution oriented consultative approach to maximize positive outcomes for these pupils. NEPS encourages schools to use a continuum based assessment and intervention process whereby each school takes responsibility for initial assessment, educational planning and remedial intervention for pupils with learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Teachers may consult their NEPS psychologist should they need to at this stage in the process. Only in the event of a failure to make reasonable progress, in spite of the school's best efforts in consultation with NEPS, will the psychologist become involved with an individual child for intensive intervention or assessment.

I have made enquiries in relation to the child, the subject of the Deputy’s question, and can confirm that the school’s NEPS psychologists has been consulting with his parents and the school in relation to the concerns raised in his regard. A meeting with the parents took place in this regard on 5th November last and another is scheduled for today. However the child has been referred to the School Age Team for a full diagnostic assessment which is required to underpin an application for an SNA. The School Age Team, as you will be aware, falls under the HSE and the question as to an assessment appointment is one for my colleague the Minister for Health.

I can, in the interim, assure you of the continuing input of the NEPS service to the child, his parents and school in relation to his ongoing maintenance and support in school.